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First of scoping meetings coming for U.S. 93 project
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First of scoping meetings coming for U.S. 93 project

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RONAN - The first public scoping workshops for design, alignment and configuration of an 11-mile stretch of U.S. 93 through the culturally and ecologically sensitive Ninepipe area will be Wednesday at the Ronan Community Center.

Two sessions are scheduled: 2:30 to 5 p.m., and 6 to 8:30 p.m. The agenda for both sessions is the same.

A supplemental environmental impact statement is being prepared for this section of highway, which is part of the larger U.S. 93 construction through the Flathead Reservation from Evaro to Polson. The workshops are interactive, and will be used to determine public concerns.

Last December, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Montana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration reached agreement on a conceptual design for 45 miles of the project. No agreement could be reached on the Ninepipe segment. The two-year supplemental EIS process should bring an agreement on this sensitive area, in order to evaluate new circumstances and information relevant to the cultural and ecological concerns.

Thad Dickson, a media representative for consulting firm Skillings-Connolly Inc., which is holding the public meeting, said people do not need to be transportation experts to contribute valuable information at the scoping meetings.

For further information, contact Skillings-Connolly Inc. at the Ronan Public Involvement Office in the Old Creamery Mall, 1317 U.S. 93 in Ronan, 676-2500.

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